It’s official: as evidenced last week by a set photo featuring Chris Pine, production on Wonder Woman is underway with director Patty Jenkins, and Warner Bros. has released the first official photo of Gal Gadot as the titular superhero. In addition, the studio has announced several new cast members, including Danny Huston, David Thewlis and Robin Wright.
Before George Miller re-established his supremacy as action filmmaking’s most insatiably inventive madman with this spring’s Fury Road, he had planned a comeback of a different sort. In the late 2000s, Miller was slated to helm an unprecedentedly ambitious undertaking for DC, an adaptation of the Justice League comics that’d bring together all of the company’s most popular heroes for one grand adventure. He had secured a promising cast — Armie Hammer as Batman, Common as the Green Lantern, Adam Brody as the Flash — for the tentatively titled Justice League Mortal, but relocations in production and the 2008 actors’ strike effectively derailed production on this lost gem.
Chris Pine has been confirmed in the role of Steve Trevor opposite Gal Gadot’s Diana Prince in the upcoming Wonder Woman solo movie, but the set photo that appeared over the weekend featured Pine in period attire, leading to a few raised eyebrows. Rumors have consistently suggested that at least some of Wonder Woman takes place during World War I, but surely Pine isn’t appearing in only part of the film, right? A new rumor may provide an answer.
Although Wonder Woman doesn’t hit theaters until 2017, it looks as if filming has already begun on Gal Gadot’s solo superhero adventure. Wonder Woman will make her debut next spring in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, while co-star Chris Pine has just popped up in a new set photo, giving us our first look at Steve Trevor — along with a new cast member.
DC and Warner Bros. aren’t really following the Marvel model when it comes to their superhero cinematic universe. Instead of establishing each hero with separate solo films leading up to the first Justice League movie, WB is introducing some characters in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, while others will make their debut in Justice League. But will WB go back and explore the origins of these superheroes after they’ve been introduced in other films?
The cast for Warner Bros. and DC’s solo Wonder Woman movie already had a lot going for it with Gal Gadot in the lead role — although we’ve only seen glimpses of her in action as the iconic superhero, Gadot looks like she might steal the Batman v Superman show next spring. With Patty Jenkins behind the camera and Chris Pine co-starring, Wonder Woman has become increasingly interesting — and it might get even more interesting with the casting of Nicole Kidman as an Amazonian warrior.
It’s easy to complain about Wonder Woman, who made her first appearance in a story in All-Star Comics #8 by William Moulton Marston and Harry G. Peter published on October 25 1941. Many deride her as an empty symbol; something to emblazon T-shirts with rather than a character to read about. She’s been bloated by the past century’s worst attitudes towards women. Her outfit is often embarrassing and exploitative. She’s not a warrior, a peacemaker, a queen, or a diplomat, but something indefinable and eternally in-between. If complaining is the comic community’s greatest pastime, picking apart Wonder Woman is our baseball.
So why does she still exist?
We’ve known for some time that the upcoming Wonder Woman movie would take place in two time periods: modern day and World War I. But, what if that modern day time period, wasn’t exactly modern day. As it turns out, the Wonder Woman movie will actually serve as a prequel to Batman vs. Superman, taking place before the events of that movie.
Kate Beaton's approach to Wonder Woman is perhaps one of the clearest examples of how the acclaimed cartoonist combines brilliant humor with perceptive critical analysis. After several appearances in Hark! A Vagrant, Wonder Woman makes a return six-strip engagement in Beaton's new book, Step Aside, Pops! When we first met this incarnation she was a bitter, sarcastic superheroine just trying to have a smoke, or reluctantly helping an old lady rescue her cat from a tree by yanking it down with her magic lasso.
This time around, Beaton gives some clues about why her Wonder Woman might be the way she is. Taking a meeting in "head office," she's told, "the Greek stuff, the outfit, the lasso... it's too weird to deal with" (though a bro with the same affectations somehow works), and gets mansplained by Superman and Batman. At a bar, a fan gushes about how great she thinks Wonder Woman is, without seeming to actually know anything about her.
Considering how many different shows Square Enix participates in, it's a wonder there were any new figures on display at this year's New York Comic Con. Fortunately for all, the Play Arts line saw some strong new additions this week, with the 2016 Warner Brothers' tentpole Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice getting the most attention. We had seen the standard Superman and Batman figures back at SDCC, but here we got looks at the prototypes for a second Batman figure and what could be the best Wonder Woman Square has ever done.
Seriously, Square Enix has dipped the toy quill in the DC Comics fountain before, and the Variant Wonder Woman, while true to Play Arts' style, wasn't exactly the strongest representation of the character. This new iteration, based on Gal Gadot's take on the iconic Amazonian, is incredibly detailed, but more importantly, it's spot-on, unembellished sculpt is the perfect counterpoint to the previous attempt. The articulation is impressive as always, but the real draw comes from that attention to detail Square has been stepping up over the course of the last year. The company's been working with a slightly larger scale than it was in the past, and though it means more expensive figures, it also means way more nuance for each figure.